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Comment: Re:Paying by the MB (Score 1) 442

by cduffy (#47763815) Attached to: Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

We've been paying for roads by the mile for decades, via gas taxes -- an effective way of making people who drive more, pay more.

That might be true if gas taxes were more than double what they are now.

Funds from gas taxes go to a fund accessible to the federal highway administration -- which is to say that they don't pay for city streets at all, which are covered purely by property taxes. Even then, the FHWA only covers about 49% of highway costs, meaning that the majority of the costs of highways remain borne by the states, and are paid out of different taxes.

(This is a sore point because so many folks wrongly consider cyclists freeloaders on account of not paying gas taxes -- when the amount of wear put on roads is proportional to cubed vehicle weight, making the road wear caused by cyclists negligible, whereas the property taxes and state sales taxes paid are not).

Comment: Re:Please stop linking paywalled papers. (Score 5, Informative) 74

publishers pay the people who fronted money for the study

If only they did.

Funds paid to scientific publishers pay for editing, not for the original studies. Moreover, peer review -- the most important part of the process -- is almost universally done for free by other scientists in the field; the publishers are just mediators in that process, adding minimal value.

Comment: Re:so they got an anti-abortion judge (Score 1) 104

by cduffy (#46434265) Attached to: BPAS Appeals £200,000 Fine Over Hacked Website

I may be wrong on this, but in the US, HIPAA would rule the day on such a case, no? That would mean that 200k Pounds Sterling would be a wee drop in the bucket compared to the fine such an organization would face here should it face a data leak of that magnitude.

You're making substantial assumptions about what kind of teeth HIPAA has. When I worked at a medical software company -- wherein I was directly responsible for systems handling patient data, went through HIPAA training, and worked directly with our HIPAA compliance officer to determine technical measures -- it was damned near toothless; what we spent hiring said officer and taking said measures was much more than we would have been fined for a single breach. (We wouldn't have been able to sell the system or satisfy investors unless we could pass an audit, so it was the right business decision to make, but much of what our compliance officer told us was how much work we didn't have to do; the actual compliance requirements often fell far short of what I considered best practices).

Comment: Re:I don't get it. (Score 2) 362

by cduffy (#46383875) Attached to: Google Funds San Francisco Bus Rides For Poor

I will never understand how flowing money into an area is bad.

Pricing people out of the homes and neighborhoods they're established in is disruptive. If your rents go up by 50% -- or you own, but your property taxes double -- that's a nontrivial personal hardship, particularly for folks who don't have wiggle room in their budgets to start with.

I live in East Austin -- a historically poor neighborhood. Last time I got involved in community governance was interesting -- went to a meeting to discuss whether a developer should be given a license to redevelop a recycling plant into a condominium project.

Half the people there -- including the faction I showed up with -- wanted to insist on mixed-use development with storefront space. The other group -- representing historical neighborhood residents -- wanted to ensure that low-income housing was included in the development. It wasn't feasible to accommodate both of us with the available funding; suffice to say that the debate process was informative.

Comment: Re:I don't get it. (Score 0, Troll) 362

by cduffy (#46382363) Attached to: Google Funds San Francisco Bus Rides For Poor

[...] everything to do with gentrification - Not a bad word, BTW, it just means making the slums safe for human habitation again.

So people who make less money than you are also less than human?

If you can't appreciate why gentrification is a problem, I suggest that you're living in quite a bubble.

Comment: Re:until someone hacks it (Score 1) 216

by cduffy (#46360377) Attached to: Rolls Royce Developing Drone Cargo Ships

I do information security for a living. [...]

So do I.

Pulling off an effective MITM assumes that the ends aren't doing effective mutual validation. Now, that's true much, much more often than it should be, but jumping from "most people do X badly" to "Y's effort to implement X is doomed to failure" isn't exactly a reasonable position when X doesn't violate any theoretical constraints (as so many attempted products do -- "X must have a key to decrypt Y, but must not be able to copy Y", etc).

Comment: Re:until someone hacks it (Score 1) 216

by cduffy (#46359657) Attached to: Rolls Royce Developing Drone Cargo Ships

...and you need to keep control of that vehicle for a few weeks to get it into a friendly port for unloading, during which time (1) folks with guns are doing their best to find you, and (2) you have no hostages to use as bargaining chips if they do so.

That's an awfully high-risk venture to get the kind of talent you'd need to hijack control in the first place [stealing private keys used to encrypt/authenticate the control chanel, etc] to sign off on.

Comment: Re:Ditto (Score 1) 149

by cduffy (#46299343) Attached to: Can Reactive Programming Handle Complexity?

even worse then. you must be paying for the automation with speed.

"Must"?

If you pay attention, you might notice that the languages in question have strong metaprogramming support (and one of them has native immutable data structures with structural-sharing updates and typical log32n performance, and transactional memory baked in deep).

The metaprogramming support means that there's lots of room to do compile-time analysis and optimization, and the native transactional memory support means that the cell abstractions aren't doing much that the language's designers haven't already put a lot of effort into making fast.

Sure, there's performance overhead -- but it's overhead that's built to parallelize well. Whereas traditional locking can deadlock, Clojure ensures that there's always useful work going on somewhere -- the worst case you get into is that other threads' work needs to be thrown away on conflict. That's a model that scales a lot better to the highly parallel hardware of a decade from now than the conventional approaches today.

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income. -- Errol Flynn Any man who has $10,000 left when he dies is a failure. -- Errol Flynn

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